It’s the second of 50 more weeks in 2019.  Will this be the year of Expressive YOU?

I coined the term “Expressive Age” to re-brand existing stereotypes of aging.  It represents the idea that there is a time in life when circumstances allow for greater self-expression.   You have more freedom of time and resources to pursue your interests.  Usually this occurs in the third quarter of life (age 50 to 75) when your career has been established and you are considering or making new transitions.  The outcome is an Expressive YOU!

How can you become more expressive with your interests this year?   How can you become more creative in approaching your daily life and activities?   Perhaps the answers lie with mindset!

Researchers [1] looking at creativity have found that

Creative performance is, in fact, guided by a sense of self as creative and by a person’s sense of the importance of creativity in their identity.

Let’s make a leap here!

Perhaps living an Expressive Age lifestyle is related to your sense of self as expressive and by your sense of the importance of self-expression in your identity.

How important is self-expresssion to you?   Do you have a strong sense of creative self-efficacy, meaning your belief that you have the ability to produce creative outcomes?  The survey below is adapted from the research of Maciej Karowowski. [2]

Begin by considering to what extent each of these statements describes you on a one to five scale:

  • One = “definitely not”
  • Two = “somewhat not”
  • Three = “neither yes or no”
  • Four = “somewhat yes”
  • Five = “definitely yes”
  1. I think I am a creative person.
  2. My creativity is important for who I am.
  3. I know I can efficiently solve even complicated problems.
  4. I trust my creative abilities.
  5. My imagination and ingenuity distinguishes me from my friends.
  6. Many times I have proved that I can cope with difficult situations.
  7. Being a creative person is important to me.
  8. I am sure I can deal with problems requiring creative thinking.
  9. I am good at proposing original solutions to problems.
  10. Creativity is an important part of myself.
  11. Ingenuity is a characteristic that is important to me.

Now look at your scores.  If you score mostly 4 and 5 with statements 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, then you probably have strong creative self-efficacy, meaning “the belief you have the ability to produce creative outcomes.”

Finally, if your creative self-efficacy is high, you probably have high self-efficacy in Expressive YOU.  While creativity is an important dimension of expression, it is not the only way we express ourselves.  Explore a new travel destination or your family history.  Make a career transition.  Update and upgrade your sense of style!  Here’s to Expressive YOU!

Additional Reading

[1] Jean E. Pretz, Danielle Nelson, The Creative Self, 2017

[2] Short Scale of Creative Self, Maciej Karwowski (2011)

The Creative Self: Effect of Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, Mindset, and Identity